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Noda Elementary School 4 Girl Child Abuse Death 4 Years Manpower Shortage of Children’s Advice Seriously Trying to Increase Staff but Taking Leave of Absence and Turnover: Tokyo Shimbun TOKYO Web

Noda Elementary School 4 Girl Child Abuse Death 4 Years Manpower Shortage of Children’s Advice Seriously Trying to Increase Staff but Taking Leave of Absence and Turnover: Tokyo Shimbun TOKYO Web
Noda Elementary School 4 Girl Child Abuse Death 4 Years Manpower Shortage of Children’s Advice Seriously Trying to Increase Staff but Taking Leave of Absence and Turnover: Tokyo Shimbun TOKYO Web

Prefectural officials observe a moment of silence at the prefectural office to mark the fourth anniversary of the incident.

On the 24th, it has been four years since the death of Mia Kurihara, a 10-year-old fourth-year elementary school student in Noda City, Chiba Prefecture, who was abused by her father. The prefectural government is working to increase the number of child guidance center staff in an effort to prevent a recurrence, but staff turnover and leave of absence are notable. As of this month, the number of new recruits for fiscal 2023 is also significantly below the capacity, and the shortage of personnel is serious. An expert points out, “It is necessary to train young staff from a long-term perspective.” (Toyohiro Kato, Minori Suzuki)

In response to the incident, the prefecture plans to establish new child consultation centers in Matsudo City and Inzai City by fiscal 2014, and to increase the number of child consultation center staff by 260 by March of this year. increased the number of people

However, last year there were a series of resignations and leave of absence among child guidance center staff in the prefecture. According to the Prefectural Health and Welfare Policy Division, as of the end of November 2010, 9 people had retired, 10 were on leave of absence, and 29 were on long-term medical leave of one month or longer. A total of 77 people left the site, including 29 on maternity and childcare leave.

Mental disorders are often the cause of leave of absence and long-term medical leave. It is believed that the reason behind this is the increased number of consultations with child consultation centers. In fiscal 2009, 11,870 consultations (preliminary figures) were received at child consultation centers in the prefecture, a record high for 12 consecutive years.

The prefecture also struggles to recruit new staff. According to the Personnel Division, while the number of child welfare officers planned to be hired is 55 in fiscal 2010, only nine were actually hired. There are only 24 child instructors out of 73. Only 30 out of 51 are in the “psychology” category.

In an effort to make up for the shortfall, the prefecture conducted recruitment activities outside of the prefecture for the first time since the Heisei era. On the 20th of this month, a child welfare officer selection examination was held in Nagoya City, but there was only one applicant.

At a regular press conference on the 19th, Governor Toshihito Kumagai said, “Each prefecture in the Tokyo metropolitan area is working to increase the number of child consultation centers, and it is difficult to secure them. I have to become a child consultation center,” he said.

According to Toyo University professor Takayuki Suzuki (Child and Family Welfare Studies), who has worked at a child consultation center, he used to experience child welfare in his twenties, and was flexible to the concerns of parents in his thirties. It is said that careers such as becoming a child welfare officer who can deal with children were common.

“Currently, due to the shortage of workers, young people are forced to face complicated cases immediately after being hired, and there are cases where they feel a mismatch and quit.”

Professor Suzuki said, “There’s no silver bullet. We need to redesign, from a long-term perspective, a training system that carefully nurtures employees and a personnel system that allows employees to be assigned jobs according to their experience.”

At the prefectural office on the morning of the 24th, 27 staff members of the Prefectural Children and Families Division offered a moment of silence. Kaoru Shinozuka, the head of the department, told the staff, “From now on, we must never forget the reflection that the adults around us couldn’t catch the SOS sent by a 10-year-old girl.”

On January 24, 2019, Kokoa Kurihara, a fourth-year elementary school student from Noda City, died in her bathroom at the time (10 years old). In March 2020, the Tokyo High Court sentenced Koa’s father, Yuichiro, to 16 years of imprisonment after being indicted on charges of bodily injury resulting in death for assaulting Ms. Kokoa by showering her with cold water and not giving her enough food and sleep. Judgment is final. Before the incident, Ms. Kokoa was temporarily placed under the protection of a child guidance center, but she was released the following month, and the government’s response was also viewed as a problem.

Tags: Noda Elementary School Girl Child Abuse Death Years Manpower Shortage Childrens Advice Increase Staff Leave Absence Turnover Tokyo Shimbun TOKYO Web

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